Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan was a book I acquired & had signed at Boston Book Festival a few months ago. I LOVED my experience meeting her and hearing her speak on a panel about YA romance, so I couldn’t wait to get into this book!
This story is about Lou, a small-town girl who works with a wacky cast of characters at a local family-run amusement park. At home, it’s just Lou & her dad — who doesn’t know she’s bisexual. Lou’s hoping for a fun assignment, but she gets stuck with the sweaty hot dog suit. Her crush, Nick, is a diving pirate, and her best friend Seeley runs the carousel. Unfortunately, Nick’s girlfriend Jessa in the beautiful princess. The people at the amusement park are all fun & I would absolutely have a blast working with them all summer.
The amusement park is Lou’s happy place — and when she hears it’ll be closing at the end of the summer, she’s devastated. She decides to spend the summer convincing the owner not to close and to help raise the money to keep it open. Along the way, she and Seeley pretend to date so they can go on double dates with Nick & Jessa, so Lou can spend more time with Nick and maybe he’ll dump Jessa for her…(?) Even Lou admits this plan is weird and probably won’t work.
This book ended up being absolutely adorable. Lou learns a lot about herself throughout the course of the summer. Lou’s dad is a shining of what a supportive parent should look like. I figured out pretty early on in the book who Lou’s romantic interest would be at the end, but it didn’t make it any less fun for me to read. It was cute, romantic, and important LGBTQ representation. I’m looking forward to Dugan’s next book, Verona Comics, which will be out this spring — and hope to see her again at Boston Book Festival 2020!